Ofer Bar-Yosef (Harvard University)

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Ofer Bar-Yosef - Prof. emeritus of Prehistoric Archaeology, Harvard University - received the title of Honoris Causa on the 12th of March 2018.

Photo : Ofer Bar-Yosef © Harvard University
Ofer Bar-Yosef © Harvard University

A lecturer in prehistoric archaeology for 21 years at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ofer Bar-Yosef has been honored throughout his career by prestigious institutions. He is Professor emeritus at Harvard University, having held the chair in archaeology there since 1988; a permanent member of the US National Academy of Sciences; and recipient of an honorary Doctorate from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Research, collaboration, distinctions

As a prehistorian, Ofer Bar-Yosef’s interests lie in the study of human dispersals throughout the ages, from the Lower Paleolithic to the Neolithic, and across regions, from Israel to China. As well as providing a source of learning for generations of specialists from all over the world, his excavations have made some exceptional discoveries, such as the oldest archaeological remains of humans found outside of Africa, in Ubeidiya, in the Jordan Valley, and the earliest traces of neolithization in Yuchanyan, in the Chinese province of Hunan.

Passionate, with cross-disciplinary knowledge that encompasses social, cultural and biological anthropology, and an advocate of the lithic "school" of Bordeaux (he was introduced to lithic typology and technology by François Bordes at the University of Bordeaux), Ofer Bar-Yosef is exceptionally committed in his work, having conducted field activities continuously for almost 50 years, working on some 25 sites, often heading up international teams.

The DHC for Prof. Bar-Yosef was proposed by Bruno Maureille, Research director CNRS, PACEA (CNRS unit, Ministry of Culture and University of Bordeaux), Director of the Archaeological Science Federation of Bordeaux (CNRS unit).